Carnie owner Buck Rankin marries local girl Helen and plans to go straight, but after a brawl ends up with a twenty-year sentence for manslaughter. When a pregnant Helen vows to wait for ...
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Carnie owner Buck Rankin marries local girl Helen and plans to go straight, but after a brawl ends up with a twenty-year sentence for manslaughter. When a pregnant Helen vows to wait for him Rankin forges a letter from the warden's office informing Helen that Rankin drowned while attempting to escape. Twenty years later Rankin is released from prison, changes his name to "Duke Sheldon", and eventually becomes a nightclub owner with ties to the mob. Helen has remarried - to a local judge - and daughter Sandra has become a reporter. When it's learned that notoriously camera-shy "Duke Sheldon" will be providing a mobster's alibi at a high-profile trial Sandra is sent to write an exposé. She immediately recognizes Rankin from a photo her mother kept, and father and daughter have a tearful reunion. Now Rankin must decide what to do: testify at the trial, revealing his identity and exposing Helen as an unintentional bigamist. Or refuse to testify, protecting Helen and Sandra but angering ...Written by
I only caught the last third of this film the other morning, but it was enough to show me what a wonderful job Jack Holt does as a little girl's father. Because even at twenty-one, she is still his little girl. It makes everything that follows worth it. I have two (eleven and five), and the end of the film breaks my heart. Some other films that feature moments of paternal love include: China Doll (Victor Mature); Desperate Hours (Fredrick March); Kramer vs. Kramer (Dustin Hoffman); The Taking of Peggy Ann (look for David Soul on this one); The Green Berets (Jim Hutton); True Grit (the other Duke saying goodbye to Mattie Ross); It's a Wonderful Life (George Bailey with Zsu Zsu's petals); Man on Fire (Denzel Washington parleying for the life of his ward); Twilight Zone - Episode: Little Girl Lost;
Way to go, Duke.
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